First Pre-Verification of MCPTT Conformance Test Case Completed
Friday, October 16, 2020 | Comments

The availability of fully interoperable standards-based critical broadband services has moved a step closer with the first pre-verification of a mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) conformance test case. The test is critical to the development of truly global mission-critical broadband systems that will enable first responders to communicate seamlessly in the same way that 3G/4G/5G-based networks, devices and services work: across vendors, operators and international borders.

The test case used a TTCN-3 tester from MCS-TaaSting and a mission-critical services (MCX) client from Nemergent Solutions. The Third Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) MCX over IP test model was used to successfully evaluate a complex test case involving all the initial configuration, authorization, authentication and registration steps as defined by 3GPP in Release 14.

3GPP has defined the MCPTT/mission-critical data (MCData)/mission-critical video (MCVideo) services ecosystem, known collectively as either MCS or MCX, and both the industry and end-users have been calling for clear certification programs that use standardized conformance testing tools. 3GPP’s RAN Working Group 5, which works on the specification of conformance testing at the radio interface for the user equipment, has defined the test cases to assess the mission-critical-related functionality. Therefore, the foundations have been laid, but the niche critical communications market and the weight of demands for 5G testing had to date prevented the availability of commercial MCS conformance testers. This successful pre-verification is the first time a TTCN-3 tester has been used to fully implement a MCPTT test case. TTCN-3 is a European Telecommunications and Standards Institute (ETSI) standardized testing language adopted by the broadband industry for implementing conformance test cases.

"This announcement is the result of the last nine months joint effort of a group of both MCS standards and protocol testing experts and MCS providers to carefully analyze and double check even the smallest detail in 3GPP standards and resulting TTCN-3 reference implementation,” said Dr. Fidel Liberal, MCS-TaaSting project coordinator. “The successful compilation and demonstration of the first test case based on the 3GPP TTCN-3 official delivery marks a significant milestone towards building a MCS certification program.”

The pre-verification of the initial test case together with several others expected to be completed by the end of the year means significant progress is being made in MCS certification activities. In addition, the approval of the IP connectivity access network (IP-CAN) model for MCS verification by 3GPP’s RAN WG5 will help ensure a quicker time to market for MCS test equipment.

MCS TaaSting is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aimed at the definition, development and validation of flexible and cost effective MCS standards testing tools and associated certification procedures upon complete and accurate RAN5 TS & TTCN-3 code suite. The team is led by Liberal, a well-recognized expert working in different mission-critical communications and 5G-related R&D projects including the Mission Critical Open Platform (MCOP). Liberal’s team at the University of the Basque Country is supported by leading organizations in critical communications; industry associations and testing experts including ENENSYS Technologies, GridGears, Nemergent Solutions, the Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA), Sonim, TCCA and Texas A&M University.

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